Thursday, July 28, 2011 at 12:24 pm.

Logitech: More Google TV box returns than sales*

No surprise, but it sounds like Google’s entry into the TV software market isn’t going very well. From Logitech’s fiscal Q1/calendar Q2 remarks to shareholders: (PDF via GigaOM)

Q1 was a very weak quarter for sales of Logitech Revue. While we lowered the retail price to $249 during the quarter, it had little impact on consumer acceptance. Our enthusiasm for the promise of the Google TV platform has always been focused on the opportunity to develop another large installed base for our products over time. Up until now, the installed base has remained relatively small. Therefore, with the goal of accelerating adoption of the Google TV platform, we have elected to reduce the retail price from $249 to $99 during Q2. [...]

Sales of Logitech Revue were slightly negative during the quarter, as returns of the product were higher than the very modest sales. We believe the significantly lower everyday price for Logitech Revue, reduced from $249 to $99, will generate improved sales.

I doubt this thing is going to be successful, even at $99. The Google TV software is lame so far, but the bigger problem is that the Logitech Revue setup — sitting between your cable box and your TV — is way too complicated for most people to deal with.

Google still has a huge opportunity to build the “Android of the TV industry” — the underlying software that is built into many TV sets from many manufacturers. That could get more people using the Internet on their TVs, watching more YouTube videos, using Google apps, and seeing more Google ads, which is the whole point. And that could happen via Google TV, via another flavor of Android, or something else entirely.

So far, Google hasn’t given any of the TV companies a reason to believe in their software. But Android took off slowly, too. We won’t know for a few years if Google’s push into TV software — and to put online ads on TVs — is going to work or not.

Update 8/1: Logitech clarifies: These weren’t consumer returns, they were from distributors. And they were skewed by the timing of the quarter — Revue lifetime returns aren’t actually very high. More in my new post.